Plenary Debates Summaries

Plenary debate I


Representing the perspectives of government and business, developing and industrialized countries, regional and national entities, the panelists of this first plenary discussion all agreed that green growth is the only viable means to sustainable development for all. The economic crisis sweeping over the industrialized world and the need for continued high economic growth rates in developing and emerging economies had not altered this perception. The fact is – as it was stressed several times during the session – that business as usual and political inaction merely postpones a necessary transition and turns it more costly. From this point of departure, the panelists identified a number of opportunities and challenges related to promoting green growth.

Panelists: Raila Odinga / Prime Minister / Kenya / Angel Gurria /Secretary-General / OECD / Connie Hedegaard / Commissioner / European Commission /  Niels B. Christiansen / CEO/ Danfoss

Moderator: Rachel Kyte / Vice President / World Bank.

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Plenary Debate II


In the second plenary debate, a panel of top decision makers for the economic planning and development of Ethiopia, The Republic of Korea, Denmark and Brazil offered an insight in the diverse green growth planning experiences of four leading green growth nations from four different continents, representing different stages and models of economic development.

Panelists: H.E. Meles Zenawi / Prime Minister / Ethiopia / Jae-do Moon / Deputy Minister of Knowledge Economy / Republic of Korea / Ole Sohn / Minister of Business and Growth / Denmark. Luciano Coutinho / President / Brazilian Development Bank.

Moderator: Kandeh Yumkella / Director-General / UNIDO.

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Plenary Debate III


In the third plenary debate, key leaders of international governance, business and civil society engaged in a discussion on how bottom-up green growth initiatives can complement and be fostered by international political action.

Top down political action and bottom-up initiatives are equally necessary. The panelists unequivocally concurred that the daunting task of reinventing the global economy – by design rather than by default – will require concerted action by all stakeholders; governments, business and citizens, both top-down and bottom-up. As examples of how bottom-up initiatives comprise an indispensable part of the overall green growth architecture, Christiana Figueres pointed out that corporations have an important role in opening the political space for ambitious policies. Jim Leape gave examples of how coalitions of civil society and businesses through certification initiatives can push global norms and standards for sustainably produced commodities.

Panelists: Villy Søvndal / Minister for Foreign Affairs / Denmark / Christiana Figueres /Executive Secretary / UNFCCC / Jim Leape / Director General / WWF International / Ditlev Engel / CEO / Vestas / Achim Steiner / Executive Director / UNEP.

Moderator: Richard Samans / Executive Director / Global Green Growth Institute.

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Plenary Debate IV


The core government partners behind 3GF, and Nestlé’s Chair, strongly endorsed 3GF’s fundamental approach: Green growth with an emphasis on the economic growth aspect; the need for speed to scale in the light of the challenges facing us; partnership approaches given the weaknesses in global and national state-led action; and the inability for business to act progressively without the right enabling policy environment. That said, they encouraged a yet greater focus on the economics, and equally encouraged 3GF to remain ambitious in the partnerships that it helped to catalyze. Minister Lidegaard underlined the need for a dual approach, where bottom-up collaboration supplements the global negotiation framework.

Panelists: Martin Lidegaard / Minister for Climate, Energy and Building / Government of Denmark / Francisco Barnés Reguriro / President / National Institute of Ecology / Government of Mexico / Soogil Young / Chairman of the Presidential Committee of Green Growth / Government of the Republic of Korea / Peter Brabeck-Letmathe / Chairman of the Board / Nestlé.

Moderator: Simon Zadek / Senior Fellow / Global Green Growth Institute

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